Novak Djokovic‘s bid for an 18th Grand Slam title ended in a bizarre fashion on Sunday after he hit a line official with a ball during the opening set of his fourth round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta. After having conceded a point, the world No. 1 men’s singles player ended up hitting a ball in the direction of the female official which struck her in the throat leaving her on the floor. Also Read - Novak Djokovic Beats Diego Schwartzman to Win Italian Open 2020

Djokovic rushed to towards the official inquiring about her well-being. Also Read - Tennis | US Open 2020 Final: Dominic Thiem Beats Alexander Zverev in Marathon Five-setter to Claim First Grand Slam Title

Following that incident, the tournament official spoke with the chair umpire and then held a lengthy discussion with Djokovic about the infringement of rules.

The former US Open winner seemed to be pleading with the tournament referee Soeren Friemel about his action being unintentional.

Eventually, Carreno Busta was adjudged to have won by default after he was leading 6-5 at Flushing Meadows.

The Serb later issued an apology on social media.

As per the rule, “Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. The referee, in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors may declare a default for either a single violation of this code.”

Djokovic said the situation has left hime “sad and empty”.

“This whole situation has left me really sad and empty,” Djokovic wrote on his Instagram account. “I checked on the lines person and the tournament told me that thank God she is feeling ok. I‘m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong. I’m not disclosing her name to respect her privacy.”

“As for the disqualification, I need to go back within and work on my disappointment and turn this all into a lesson for my growth and evolution as a player and human being. I apologize to the @usopen tournament and everyone associated for my behavior. I’m very grateful to my team and family for being my rock support, and my fans for always being there with me. Thank you and I’m so sorry,” he added.